US President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced the full withdrawal of United States troops from Afghanistan, who have stayed in the country for nearly 20 years, an announcement that was accompanied by concerns of plunging the war-ravaged country into a new civil war.
Biden said that it has been 10 years since Osama Bin Laden’s death, and it is time to end America’s war in the country and to bring US troops home.
“We will begin our withdrawal on May 1,” Biden said, adding that it will not be a “hasty rush to the exit,” and if the Taliban attacks, the US will defend itself and partners with “all the tools at our disposal.”
Announcing a full withdrawal from the country, Biden said, “We went to Afghanistan because of a horrific attack that happened 20 years ago.”
“That cannot explain why we should remain there in 2021,” he added.
“Our diplomatic and humanitarian work will continue,” Biden said, adding that the US will continue to aid Afghan security forces, the peace process with Taliban, and to support the rights of women and girls.
Biden said that diplomacy will continue with regional nations, “especially Pakistan.”
“Our diplomacy does not depend on having boots in harm’s way, boots on the ground,” Biden said.
“We cannot continue the cycle of extending or expanding our military presence in Afghanistan, hoping to create ideal conditions for the withdrawal, and expecting a different result,” he stated.
“The Taliban should know that if they attack us as we draw down we’ll defend ourselves and our partners with all the tools at our disposal.”
Echoing Biden’s remarks, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at a press briefing in Brussels said that the withdrawal has been consulted with allies and will happen responsibly.
“We will leave Afghanistan together and will bring our troops home,” Blinken said. “We will withdraw our forces responsibly and deliberately.”
In a tweet, Amrullah Saleh commenting on Biden’s decision of withdrawal from Afghanistan said, he respects President Biden’s decision.
Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said all allies agreed to start the withdrawal of NATO troops starting May 1.
“All allies are aware that this is not an easy decision,” he said, adding that NATO will look for more ways to support the country in the future.
He said that it is only the Afghans who can bring peace to Afghanistan.
Courtesy: TOLO NEWS